Man’s Stoned Age

Mark Willingham Uncategorized

Man’s Stoned Age


Source: The Sunday Times

Jonathan Leake, Science Editor

July 31 2016


After the Ice Age came the Stoned Age. Early humans began using cannabis as long as 10,000 years ago, just as Europe’s glaciers had started their final retreat, scientists have found.


An archaeological study suggests early humans in Europe and Asia stumbled on the plant at roughly the same time. The discovery was valued, suggest the scientists, not just for its psychoactive properties but also because its nutritious seeds could quench hunger pangs and hemp fibres could be woven into clothing.


“The cannabis plant seems to have been distributed widely from as early as 10,000 years ago,” said Tengwen Long, a researcher at the German Archaeological Institute, in a research paper.


Drugs therefore appear to have predated alcohol, with the first beer not believed to have been brewed until about 7,000 years ago. It was not until 5,000 years ago that something truly modern evolved – the dope dealer. It was then, at the dawn of the Bronze Age, that the Yamnaya – nomadic herders living on the Eurasian steppe – mastered horse riding, and began using their animals to transport cargos, including cannabis.


In the study, published in the journal Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, Long presents a systematic review of archaeological records of cannabis fibres, pollen and seeds across Europe and east Asia.